Economy

Mwilu takes helm of Judiciary as Chief Justice Maraga retires

David Kenani Maraga has officially retired as the 15th Chief Justice of independent Kenya, and handed over to acting CJ Philomena Mbete Mwilu.

Mr Maraga replaced Dr Willy Mutunga who retired in June 2016.

He was appointed by President Uhuru Kenyatta on October 19, 2016, as Chief Justice.

Previously, he served as the presiding judge of the Court of Appeal in Kisumu and was also the chairperson of the Judiciary Committee on Elections.

He had also served as the presiding judge of the Family Division of the High Court in Nairobi and resident judge of the High Court in Nakuru.

Support for judges

Speaking during the official retirement ceremony at the Supreme Court in Nairobi on Monday, Mr Maraga called on Kenyans to continue giving unwavering support to judges and magistrates so that justice can continue flourishing in the country.

“Today, I want to assure the entire nation that I leave behind a strong Judiciary, a professional and enthusiastic corps of judges and judicial officers as well as staff who are deeply committed to the administration of justice,” Mr Maraga said.

He said Kenya must continue to invest in a strong, independent and fair Judiciary for sustained economic prosperity and political stability which “can only be guaranteed if the rule of law reigns”.

He thanked Kenyans for the support given to him during his tenure, and urged them to accord the same to Ms Mwilu until a substantive chief justice is appointed.

Mwilu's remarks

In her inaugural speech, Justice Mwilu praised her former boss for exemplary leadership.

“Yours has been a life of service and a professional and personal example characterised by integrity, fidelity to the rule of law and, most importantly, obedience to God,” she said.

“I have gained immensely from working with you, [including] encouragement in moments of weakness. As President of our court, you led us with knowledge.”

Justice Mwilu also noted that Justice Maraga left a great legacy marked by judicial independence, entrenching the rule of law and protecting it.

“For whatever period it will please God for me to serve as CJ we will build on your legacy," she told Justice Maraga.

At the ceremony, Justice Maraga was disrobed to symbolise the end of his tenure. He handed over government property, including his official car, a national flag, and number plate CJ1,  to Chief Registrar of the Judiciary, Anne Amadi.

He then drove off in his private car accompanied by his wife, Yucabeth Nyaboke.